Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching & Learning

By: Mary Bart

It’s hard to pick up a publication these days without reading something about blended course design or the flipped classroom. Even mainstream media have begun to cover these new approaches to teaching and learning that put more emphasis on active learning.


Despite their growing popularity, defining blended learning and flipped learning is more difficult than one would expect. Both models have a variety of definitions, and many consider the flipped classroom a form of blended learning. The Sloan Consortium has one of the most precise definitions, defining blended as “instruction that has between 30 and 80 percent of the course content delivered online.” For the sake of this report, we’re using a more broad definition of blended learning as a course that uses a combination of face-to-face and online learning.

The flipped classroom, sometimes called the inverted classroom, is a pedagogical model which reverses what typically occurs in class and out of class. Students are first exposed to the material outside of class, typically in the form of video-based lectures, and then class time is used to engage in activities such as problem solving, discussion, and analysis.

This special report features 12 articles curated from past issues of The Teaching Professor, Online Classroom, and Faculty Focus. With six articles dedicated to blended learning and six articles on the flipped classroom, Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching & Learning provides an inside look at how faculty are using these approaches to reshape the college classroom. Articles include:

  • Putting the Learning in Blended Learning
  • Recommendations for Blended Learning Course Design
  • The Process Approach to Online and Blended Learning
  • Expanding the Definition of a Flipped Learning Environment
  • “I Don’t Like This One Little Bit.” Tales from a Flipped Classroom
  • Looking for ‘Flippable’ Moments in Your Class

Get best practices for teaching a blended or flipped class

Regardless of the definitions used to describe each approach, at the heart of both blended learning and flipped learning is a learner-centered curriculum that changes the traditional roles of instructor and student. In the article “Expanding the Definition of a Flipped Learning Environment,” Honeycutt and Garrett write, “When planning a flipped lesson, an instructor should begin with the question, ‘What do the students need to DO to achieve the learning outcome?’ This change in perspective will immediately flip the focus of the lesson since the question emphasizes the efforts of the learners, not the instructor.”

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